Aviva Equity Release Review
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Considering Aviva equity release for a more secure retirement?
Equity release has helped thousands fund their retirement, with over 90,000 borrowers in 2022 alone.1
Aviva, an award-winning provider2, may be the answer you’re seeking.
In This Article, You Will Discover:
In this article, the Every Investor team explores Aviva’s offerings, uncovering benefits and potential pitfalls.
We aim to provide insights on whether Aviva’s equity release options can contribute to a financially secure retirement.
The Every Investor team conducts in-depth research to provide accurate and up-to-date information. All our articles are fact-checked by our editorial team, and we rely on reputable sources for the most accurate information.
Read on to see if Aviva’s offerings align with your needs.
TAKE NOTE: Every Investor is an independent and unrelated third-party information provider via this website, and the details reproduced in this article represent the opinions of Every Investor only, and may not reflect the views or opinions of Aviva. This article is not to be construed by the reader as advice, nor is it a solicitation to enter any transaction in any financial product provided by Aviva.
An Overview of Aviva
Aviva is the UK’s largest life insurer3 and a prominent provider of pensions and mortgages.
With a history spanning over 320 years, Aviva provides planning solutions for unforeseen circumstances.4
Headquartered in London, the company serves approximately 18 million clients in the UK, Ireland, and Canada.5
Aviva’s Experience & Expertise in the Financial Services Industry
Aviva’s experience and expertise in the financial services industry span over three centuries since its establishment in 1696.
While Aviva strives for quality customer service, individual experiences may vary, as with any financial service provider. This could be due to differences in individual financial circumstances, unique customer needs, or even the complexity of the case.
Does Aviva Offer Equity Release?
Yes, Aviva offers equity release in the form of a lifetime mortgage.10
Since 1998, customers have released more than £10 billion from their homes for retirement through Aviva.11
Aviva’s Equity Release Plan
Aviva’s equity release plan’s a lifetime mortgage called the Lifestyle Flexible Option.12
This loan might be an option to evaluate if you’re exploring comprehensive and adaptable equity release products and services.
Aviva’s Lifestyle Flexible Option
Aviva’s Lifestyle Flexible Option allows clients aged 55 or older to borrow a minimum of £15,000 against their homes.13
With this plan, you can access the funds as a lump sum or opt for an initial lump sum and regular access to a cash facility without selling your house.
The plan also offers a cash reserve of up to 50% of the total loan amount, allowing you to pay interest only on the withdrawn funds.14
Why use a cash reserve?
You’ll only be liable to pay interest on the funds withdrawn and not on the money in your reserve.
This will help you avoid the interest that accrues over time from becoming unmanageable.
Aviva’s lifetime mortgage allows for partial repayments of up to 10% of the loan amount per year15, providing benefits such as managing interest growth, preserving estate value, and financial flexibility.
Aviva’s Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage
Aviva provides an Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage option for individuals with certain medical conditions or lifestyle factors, which could possibly result in reduced interest rates or an increased Loan-to-Value ratio.
Seek financial advice before making any decisions.
How Much Could I Borrow?
How much you could borrow depends on age, lifestyle, health, and property value, but Aviva’s loan amounts range from £15,000 to £1,000,000.16
The calculation considers your age and property value
For instance, equity release for over 55 may borrow at least 19.5% of their equity value, while homeowners aged 85 and older could borrow up to 47.9%.17
The cash reserve allows a minimum withdrawal of £500, with a required minimum balance of £5,000 to keep the facility open.18
What Are Aviva’s Qualification Criteria?
Aviva’s qualification criteria are based on your age, and your property’s value, type, and location.19
To qualify for an Aviva lifetime mortgage, you need to:
- Be 55 or older, with the youngest borrower meeting this age requirement.
- Own a primary residence in the UK (excluding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) valued at at least £75,000.
- Want to borrow a minimum of £15,000.
- Ensure your property’s not unoccupied for more than 6 months.
- Have a small remaining mortgage (or no mortgage).
Qualification can vary, so consult a qualified equity release advisor for personalised guidance.
What Are Aviva’s Equity Release Interest Rates?
Aviva’s equity release interest rates fall between 7% and 7,11%*.
This means that if you borrow £100,000, you’d be charged between £7,000 and £7,110 in interest per year.ỻ
View the latest equity release rates here.
*Accurate as at 17/06/2023. While we regularly review our rates, these may have shifted since our last update.
ỻThese figures are provided for indicative purposes only.
What Fees Does Aviva Charge?
The fees Aviva charges during the initial borrowing stage include legal fees, valuation fees, and arrangement fees.
Here are the details:
- Arrangement Fee: Covers the setup cost of the lifetime mortgage plan and is added to the total loan.
- Valuation Fee: Aviva arranges an independent property valuation. No fee’s charged for properties valued at £5 million or less.20
- Re-Inspection Fee: A £60 fee’s levied if the property needs to be inspected again.21
- Legal Fees: You’re responsible for appointing a legal adviser, and these costs are yours to bear.
Additional fees may be imposed for additional borrowing, change of ownership, moving house, remote valuations, and early repayment of the whole mortgage.22
Does Aviva Have an Equity Release Calculator?
Yes, Aviva has an equity release calculator that can help you determine the potential amount of wealth you could release from your property.
To give you an approximate indication, you’ll be required to enter the following information:
- Your age
- The type of property you own
- The approximate value of your property
Benefits of Aviva Equity Release
The benefits of Aviva equity release include accessing tax-free cash with the option of protecting a portion of it for your heirs, a No Negative Equity Guarantee, and flexible repayment options.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits:
- Tax-Free Cash: The cash you release is entirely tax-free, but it’s important to consult a financial advisor regarding potential tax liabilities.
- No Negative Equity Guarantee: Aviva includes a guarantee that ensures you or your estate will never owe more than the sale value of your property.
- Inheritance Protection: You can allocate a percentage of your home’s value to your estate, protecting your planned inheritance.
- Flexible Repayment Options: Aviva offers voluntary partial repayments of up to 10% of the initial loan per year, with no early repayment penalties. Repayments must be a minimum of £50, helping minimise compound interest accumulation.
Keep in mind that while equity release with Aviva has many advantages, there are potential drawbacks to consider.
Disadvantages of Equity Release through Aviva
The disadvantages of equity release through Aviva include a number of risks that should be considered carefully.
Equity release products come with inherent risks, and it’s vital to be aware of them before proceeding with an equity release plan.
Aviva notes the following cons associated with getting an equity release plan:
- Impact on Benefits: Taking out an equity release loan may affect your eligibility for welfare benefits. Your equity release adviser can provide more information on this.
- Reduced Inheritance: Equity release reduces the value of your home, impacting the inheritance you can leave behind.
- Significant Interest: Interest on equity release loans compounds yearly, resulting in a steep increase in the repayment amount over time.
- Lifelong Commitment: Early repayment of the equity release loan may incur charges. Equity release is a long-term commitment.
It’s also important to note that Aviva defines specific criteria for what qualifies as long-term care.
Changing living arrangements without meeting Aviva’s definition may unexpectedly incur repayment charges.
How to Apply for Aviva Equity Release
To apply for Aviva equity release, you can request a callback from a team member, and an independent external advisor will contact you to get the ball rolling.23
Note that it’s the responsibility of advisors to help you assess whether equity release is really the best solution in your situation, but you’ll only be charged if you decide on a product.
Aviva’s Commitment to Customer Satisfaction
Aviva’s commitment to customer satisfaction can be gauged by looking at the company’s recent industry awards.
These accolades include:
- ‘Best Provider for Products and Best Overall Provider for Lifetime Mortgages’ at the 2023 Mortgage Solutions 2023 Equity Release Awards.24
- ‘Best equity release lender customer service’ and ‘Best equity release lender’ during the What Mortgage Awards in 2022.25
- “Best equity release lender” for 2021/2022 during the Personal Finance Awards.26
To make life easy for customers, Aviva’s also developed an app called ‘MyAviva’ that allows you to view and make changes to your policies directly from a mobile device.27
To ensure a better future for everyone, Aviva’s committed to becoming a net-zero carbon emissions company by 2040 and is helping its clients become greener through ethical investing.28
Ensuring the reliability of its services, Aviva adheres to strict regulatory standards.
Regulatory Compliance & Accreditations
Regulation by the FCA ensures customers aren’t deceived or misled by any financial services provider.
FCA Ref Number: 310433
Companies House Company Number: 03286484
Customer Testimonials & Reviews
Aviva’s online reviews are mostly positive, with many clients raving about the efficiency and prices.
Read more reviews below:
- Trustpilot reviews for Aviva: 4,2 out of 5 based on 28,000+ reviews.
- Aviva reviews on Reviews.io: 2,1 out of 5 based on 400+ reviews
Note: These scores were accurate as at 17/06/2023 but may have changed since our last update.
Aviva Equity Release’s Location & Contact
Aviva Equity Release’’s location and contact details are listed here.
You can contact the company on:
- +44 207 283 2000
- Wellington Row, York, North Yorkshire, YO901WR.
How Can I Get a Job at Aviva?
You can apply for a job at Aviva by viewing the company’s vacancies on its careers page.
Once on the page, you can filter the available jobs by location and by the ‘team’ you’d like to join.
How Do Aviva Complaints Work?
To make a complaint with Aviva, contact your Aviva team member or broker, visit the website, or reach out to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Fill in the online complaints form with personal and policy details, complaint information, and desired outcome.
Aviva will acknowledge the complaint, assign an expert, conduct an impartial investigation, and respond in writing within 8 weeks.
If unsatisfied, escalate the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service at 0800 023 4567.
Does Aviva Offer Equity Release Plans Nationwide, or Are They Limited to Specific Regions?
Yes, Aviva offers equity release plans nationwide in the UK, except on the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.29
What’s Aviva’s Reputation in the Equity Release Market?
Aviva is a reputable and leading provider in the UK’s equity release market.
Its award-winning products, services, and positive customer reviews demonstrate its excellence.
Additionally, Aviva is registered with the FCA and ERC.
How Long Has Aviva Been Offering Equity Release Plans?
Aviva’s been offering equity release plans since 1998, so it’s been in the business for over 2 decades.
What Sets Aviva’s Equity Release Plans Apart from Competitors?
Aviva distinguishes itself from other providers with multi-award-winning lifetime mortgage products and services.
The company excels at helping customers make choices that are in their individual best interests and giving them a crystal clear understanding of what they’re committing to when they decide to get equity release.
Does Aviva Provide Personalised Advice & Support Throughout the Equity Release Process?
Yes, Aviva provides personalised advice and support throughout the equity release process by assigning an advisor to your case.
They’ll assess your situation and guide you through each step.
This may include advising you to secure finances using alternative means such as downsizing, renting out a room, or getting part-time work.
Can Aviva Equity Release Be Accessed Online, or Do Customers Need to Visit a Physical Location?
Yes, Aviva Equity Release can be accessed online.
Customers can apply online or speak with a financial advisor for personalised advice.
The process involves property valuation, legal advice, and financial checks.
Approved customers can access loan details through an online portal.
What’s the Typical Timeframe for Processing an Application with Aviva?
The typical timeframe for processing an equity release application with Aviva is around 8-10 weeks.
However, this can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the application, the property valuation process, and the time required to complete legal and financial checks.
Are Aviva’s Equity Release Plans Available for Both Residential and Buy-to-Let Properties?
No, Aviva’s equity release plans are only available for residential properties, not buy-to-let ones.
Aviva’s equity release plans help homeowners release equity from their primary residence, which must be where they spend the majority of their time.
Can Customers Switch from an Existing Equity Release Plan to Aviva’s Offerings?
Yes, customers may be able to switch from an existing equity release plan to an Aviva plan, depending on their circumstances and current plan terms.
When switching, consider costs, implications, early repayment fees, penalties, and potential additional charges.
Consult a financial advisor to assess the costs, benefits, and suitability of switching to an Aviva plan.
How Does Aviva Handle the Valuation of Properties for Equity Release Purposes?
Aviva handles the valuation of properties for equity release purposes by using independent surveyors.
They assess various factors like condition, age, size, location, and local market conditions to determine the property’s value.
The valuation report determines the maximum borrowing amount and interest rate for the equity release plan.
Does Aviva Offer Any Incentives or Rewards for Choosing Its Equity Release Plans?
No, Aviva doesn’t offer any incentives or rewards specifically for choosing its equity release plans.
Along with a wide range of financial products and services, Aviva offers award-winning lifetime mortgages to customers in the UK.
Before considering an equity release loan, remember to evaluate the fees and eligibility criteria, and to weigh the product’s benefits and disadvantages.
Aviva’s advisors are experienced and expertly trained to help customers make the best financial decisions for their circumstances, so get in touch today if you’re considering Aviva equity release.
So if you’re potentially in the market for equity release, speak to an advisor to find out if Aviva has the best equity release plans for your needs.
The features mentioned and the amounts raised, are subject to the lender’s criteria, terms and conditions. These may take into account the age, health and lifestyle factors in order to provide an enhanced amount. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.
Editorial Note: This content has been independently collected by the Every Investor team and is offered on a non-advised basis. While we try & keep the information up to date & correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services mentioned in the website. Learn more about our editorial guidelines.
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